AI-powered transcription agency Otter.ai this week launched Otter Assistant, a brand new instrument that mechanically joins calendared Zoom conferences on a consumer’s behalf to document, take notes, and share these notes with different members, whether or not they truly participate within the assembly or not.
Obtainable to Otter.ai Enterprise customers, the instrument is designed to make Zoom conferences extra productive as a result of members can give attention to what’s truly being stated reasonably than taking notes. If members are late, or must step away, the mechanically generated transcript retains them from lacking vital data, the corporate stated.
Dave Michels, principal analyst at TalkingPointz, stated that whereas some employees are beginning to make a cautious return to the workplace, the shift towards hybrid workplaces is unlikely to result in a significant drop in on-line conferences.
“It solely takes one distant participant to justify using on-line assembly companies,” Michels stated. “That is precisely why we have to embrace services and products that make on-line conferences higher and extra environment friendly.”
Otter.ai co-founder and CEO Sam Liang, in an interview, stated Otter Assistant works as a silent assistant, mechanically becoming a member of conferences to take stay notes that may be shared with all attendees. Otter Assistants seem on video calls as a separate muted and video-less participant from the person working the instrument, that means all attendees can see the function is working all through the assembly.
“[Otter Assistant] is definitely seen for everybody. The assembly host can see it, so it does present transparency. It is not prefer it’s secretly doing one thing with out telling anyone,” Liang stated. “As well as, it additionally posts a message within the chat field, offering an extra sign that Otter is taking notes.”
Liang provides that if the contents of a gathering are confidential — or members don’t need it recorded — the host can take away the Otter Assistant in the identical manner you could possibly take away any problematic attendee.
The problem of privateness has been a recurring concern for a lot of videoconferencing platforms over the past 12 months. Michels notes that whereas there was some acceptance round conferences being recorded, Otter doesn’t use in-app recording; the same old recording indicator isn’t on.
Nonetheless, Liang burdened, Otter Assistant does notify members via the Chat perform and is clearly seen as a gathering participant. He additionally stated customers ought to all the time make their colleagues conscious earlier than a gathering in the event that they plan to make use of Otter Assistant. “Otter would positively encourage everybody to ask for permission,” he stated.
Though the instrument has been designed to mechanically be a part of conferences, Otter Assistant connects to each Microsoft Outlook and Google calendars, permitting customers to undergo their conferences and toggle the assistant on and off, relying on which of them they will attend in particular person.
In an Otter.ai YouGov survey of greater than 2,000 distant employees within the US and UK, 35% stated folks ought to solely attend related sections of conferences, whereas 26% stated assembly notes ought to all the time be shared with attendees.
“Fairly merely, [Otter Assistant] permits a Zoom consumer to be in additional locations directly,” Michels stated. “The transcript is accessible instantly, so there is not any dependency or delay related to the host to ship out the recording or transcript.”
He argued that assembly members have gotten more and more depending on assembly transcripts, and it may be irritating ready for a bunch to ship them out.
Publish-meeting, Otter.ai’s internet app, and cellular apps on iOS and Android, supply a alternative of collaborative options — all of which intention to boost enterprise communication. Customers can spotlight, share, add photographs, search by key phrase, and evaluation a transcript after a recorded Zoom name.
“[Otter Assistant] democratizes private assistants, and it ought to remove the necessity to ask a colleague to take notes when a battle prevents somebody from attending a gathering,” Michels stated.